Burke most common name in mock drafts
June 27, 2013
It’s time for one final check-in on mock drafts around the Internet. Here are the players each website is projecting the Pelicans to select during the NBA draft on Thursday. All quotes are provided by the respective websites:
NBA.com (analyst Scott Howard-Cooper): Victor Oladipo, shooting guard, Indiana
Shooting guard is not the pressing need of the moment, with Eric Gordon there. Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke are on the board as potential upgrades at point guard, too. But Oladipo is clearly the best player and help for a team that finished 26th in shooting defense.
NBA.com (analyst David Aldridge): Alex Len, center, Maryland
The Pelicans could use an offensive-oriented big to pair with Anthony Davis, and Len is the best – maybe the only – center prospect in the draft that could turn into something special. At 255 pounds, Len would let Davis play much needed minutes at the four, where he won't take as much of a beating. Len played extremely well against top-notch competition for the Terrapins, dominating Nerlens Noel early in the season and more than holding his own against the likes of Duke’s Mason Plumlee. But he was inconsistent against lesser competition. The advanced-stats crowd will also point out that he struggled scoring in the post at Maryland, but scouts counter that Maryland's guards often failed to get him the ball in prime scoring position. This pick assumes that the Pelicans haven’t given up on Austin Rivers as a point guard prospect; otherwise, Trey Burke would certainly be the pick here. My other caveat: Len's stress fracture in his ankle and subsequent surgery will keep him shelved a few more weeks. While he's supposed to be ready by the start of next season, big men and feet/ankle issues are always scary. The Pelicans already have had their fill of waiting for Eric Gordon to return from his myriad injuries.
ESPN.com: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
Here's where things really get tricky. If Otto Porter or Alex Len still are here at No. 6, I believe the Pelicans will draft either one. If both players are off the board, the team has to move on to Plan B. Although Anthony Bennett might be tempting, the Pelicans do need depth at the point guard position, and would be hard-pressed to let Burke slide. Michael Carter-Williams also could be in the mix here.
SI.com: Anthony Bennett, power forward, UNLV
An NBA source said the Pelicans plan to take the best player on the board, regardless of position. Sources also said the Pelicans really like Trey Burke, but the talented Bennett – who has the offensive skills to play small forward – may be too good to pass up. “He's ridiculously talented,” a Western Conference general manager said. “There's a superstar in him.” Bennett is an explosive athlete, has a credible back-to-the basket and face-up game and legitimate three-point range (38.3 percent last season). He’s something of a tweener, but he will find a place to play.
SportingNews.com: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
The Pelicans are insisting they’re not giving up on Austin Rivers, and indeed, that may be so. But they certainly see him as more of a combo guard off the bench than as a starter at the point. That could be Burke.
CBSSports.com (analyst Matt Moore): Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
Greivis Vasquez was great last season but would be even better as a bench guard. Burke gives the Pelicans a combo scoring guard, and allows them flexibility when it comes to both Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon.
CBSSports.com (analyst Gary Parrish): Anthony Bennett, power forward, UNLV
Yes, I know, New Orleans already has a power forward named Anthony Davis. But New Orleans can't pass on Bennett here. He has too much upside to ignore. Just draft him and figure it out later.
Yahoo.com: Alex Len, center, Maryland
Len is a big, athletic two-way center but is also injured, coming off ankle surgery. However, it does sound like there’s a good chance he’ll be ready for the start of the season. The Pelicans have Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson at power forward, while Greivis Vasquez has the inside track for another season at point guard, and Eric Gordon is the starting shooting guard as long as he’s healthy. They could easily be looking for another SG option here, and would also welcome a replacement for Robin Lopez at center, or a small forward other than Al-Farouq Aminu. If any of the previous mentioned players are still on the board at No. 6, I could see the Pelicans taking Porter, Bennett or Oladipo here. But if they’re all gone, Len makes a lot of sense.
SheridanHoops.com: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
No chance New Orleans passes on Burke. Austin Rivers showed he is not a point guard, and if given the chance to take Burke – who had an outside shot at the top pick – the Pelicans will rush the stage on draft night. With Rivers and Eric Gordon, the Pelicans are deep at shooting guard and can even entertain trade offers for Gordon, who is signed to a massive extension. The Pelicans took their centerpiece last year in Anthony Davis. Now New Orleans must surround him with talent. Burke is one of the quickest guards in the draft and can get by most defenders. With as much success as rookie point men have had the last few seasons (see Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving), the Pelicans look to get theirs.
HoopsHype.com: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
New Orleans will hope that Burke can make the same type of impact that his idol Chris Paul made on the city. Burke's performance against Kansas was legendary, as he refused to allow his team to lose, coming up with all the big plays down the stretch including a game tying 3 in the final seconds. Burke was not only the top PG in the nation this year, he was the best player in the nation. He carried the Wolverines all season with a will to win that was unmatched on the college level. His 6-foot-5 wingspan helps offset his 6-1 frame giving him some additional length to get shots off. On the negative side, Burke lacks elite level speed and athleticism, making it a challenge for him to gain separation on opponents. While detractors may argue that Burke's attributes will make the transition to the next level difficult, his ‘immeasurables”; competitiveness, heart and determination are off the charts.
Just the pick (no comments)
NBADraft.net: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan
DraftExpress.com: Trey Burke, point guard, Michigan